Pep Guardiola believes his ‘horrible’ tactics nearly cost Manchester City following their 3-1 win over Arsenal on Wednesday evening.
The Premier League champions are now top of the table on goal difference as second-half goals from Jack Grealish and Erling Haaland sealed the victory at the Emirates Stadium.
City opened the scoring in the first half after Kevin De Bruyne capitalised on Takehiro Tomiyasu’s mistake but Bukayo Saka ensured that Arsenal entered the break level as he equalised from the penalty spot.
City significantly improved after half time and Guardiola admits his strategy for the opening 45 minutes was to blame for the poor performance.
My tactics because I decided something new and it was horrible. Second half we were more like we are,’ Guardiola told Amazon Prime.
‘We let them play in build-up. Our shape. We let them play. When you let them play with Jorginho, [Granit] Xhaka and Alex [Oleksandr Zinchenko] they found the players behind and runners on the outside.
In the second-half we adjust a little bit. Ruben [Dias] was really good, going more aggressive towards [Martin] Odegaard and we controlled more and we play more.
‘Erling [Haaland] helped us a lot. We were one against one and had to play more long balls and he used his power to keep the ball.
‘In the first-half they had one moment in the middle. We struggled a lot to control it, that is why we suffered and they were much better, but in the second-half we were there.’
In his post-match press conference, Guardiola added: ‘They [Arsenal] were better in the first half. We were not able to make the extra passes.
‘We allowed them to have the ball in the second half and we made a step forward, we were more aggressive. Bernardo was much better on Odegaard and that allowed us to have an extra player in the middle.
‘Erling helped us a lot because it was man to man marking from them and he was so aggressive and he used his power to win those balls and that’s why we won the game.’